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Categories of Premie and Ex-Premie

I think that how we behave and feel when we leave the cult depends to a large extent on what made us join in the first place.

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I see four basic reasons for taking Knowledge; probably nobody is one of the four categories below exclusively, but I think most people will identify with one predominantly.

1) The peacenik - someone who wants world peace, thinks that Maharaji and Knowledge will bring it, and so takes Knowledge to support Maharaji doing this. Peaceniks are often left-wing politically, disillusioned with the politics, ideology, party or philosophy that they hoped would bring world peace, and join Maharaji and Knowledge, often in a final attempt to see their dream flourish.

2) The gopi - a devotee, someone who worships Maharaji, and practises Knowledge simply because it is Maharaji's agya to do so. All premies like to think of themselves as gopis or devotees, but I mean by 'gopi' someone whose primary motivation is the worship of Maharaji. Gopis usually think of Knowledge as peripheral, and only practise Knowledge either because Maharaji tells them to, or because it will make him love them and notice them more. Gopis are completely freaked out if they are not near the front at Maharaji's events.

3) The socialite - someone who likes the nice feeling and the nice people at the premie community videos, and just likes the feeling of being part of it all. Maharaji and Knowledge are important primarily as passports into the lovely world of premie community and belonging.

4) The meditator - someone who wants inner peace, the truth, whatever, and is primarily interested in Knowledge as the meditation. Maharaji is important because it is by his grace that Knowledge will work, and other premies and Divine Light Mission/Elan Vital are important because they provide the backup support system which will provide the meditator the inspiration to meditate on Knowledge successfully. Meditators typically dislike large events with Maharaji, but they attend because he might just say the one word or phrase that will suddenly make their meditation take off.

There is a fifth category:

5) The careerist - who has invested so much into Maharaji and the organisation that they have a hard time leaving; or of course they have a paid position, or a position with a lot of prestige. However, this is different from the other 4 categories, since no one joins with this as their reason - 'I think I will get Knowledge and get a career in Divine Light Mission/DUO/Elan Vital/Office of Guru Maharaji'.

My main idea is this: When we are an aspirant, we fit into one of these 4 categories predominantly. When we are a premie, we may move from category to category, like a chameleon, even though I think our predominant category remains predominant (I was definitely a meditator). But when we start to exit, we identify much more with the category that we were when we joined, and that this largely determines what we feel, what is important to us as we exit, and what issues we need to deal with.

The socialite is the easiest exiter - he/she joined for the good vibes, and if it does not work out, no problem, move on to the next comfortable group to belong to.

The peacenik is angry because the just cause was betrayed; not only was world-peace not obtained, but actually it was never obtainable in the first place.

The angriest exiter of all is the gopi - having placed Maharaji on a pedestal so high it was practically out of view, Maharaji is now hated and reviled. I remember when I first posted someone challenged me by saying 'if you cannot be rude about Maharaji publicly, you have not left the cult'. It was definitely a gopi saying that, and said to a gopi it is a clear test of where they stand.

To a meditator, however, reviling Maharaji is not really that important - the main issue is that they practised Knowledge for some inner goal, and have not achieved it. They blame themselves as much as Maharaji for this, and the biggest concern is what to do next.

I am not trying to make some grand unified theory to explain everything premie-ish, and even when I read what I have just written, I find myself saying many times 'Yes, but...' However, when I look at premie friends, and ex-premie friends, I do see these categories and how they operate to a large extent, so I find it a useful classification.

[Return to list of articles]    [next article] Last revised Oct 30 2003

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